I’m happy to announce that I did indeed post my pictures of drawings like I promised! I did so at the KR Blog’s new home: Kro Studio Blog!

I transferred all the posts there too, so all the great history of this blog is retained.

And I’m going to leave this blog here for one month to give everyone time to change their rss feed and bookmarks to:

http://www.krostudio.com/blog

I’ll see you there!

I’ve been trying for awhile to start doing yoga again. I just get really tense in my – well – whole body really. My muscles are always just really sore. And yoga significantly helps. We have On Demand now, but honestly, there really isn’t that much instruction on where you should be positioning what, some do, but it’s just not very detailed. Which is understandable. They are trying to create a calm mood for doing yoga, they don’t want to talk through the whole session. And for more experienced, aka someone with any experience, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But for me, I always feel like I’m putting my foot in the wrong place, not posturing correctly. Butt in the air instead of arcing my body gracefully. It’s going to take a long time to feel comfortable doing yoga again (I used to be one of those people with some experience, but not anymore).

I mean, don’t you need to see the poses in motion flowing from one to the next to get it right? Well, not neccessarially. If you can’t see what they are really doing on the tv because said butt is in air, it’s not really too helpful. I was starting to get frustrated. Enter the Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health:

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And then I remembered, I have a book on yoga, a really good book. And it goes into the minusia of each pose. Covering not just the benefits of each pose to your body and mind, but also all the intricasies of the pose, where you will feel the stretch, how you should be holding yourself, grounding yourself, breathing when and how. Jason purchased it for me some time ago, I would say 3 years? And when I used it before it was really helpful.

I was doubtful about this book when I first picked it up off the shelf. I was really worried it would just be another one of those fluff yoga books that were all over the place 3-4 years ago. And I was surprised to find it filled with solid information, the history of the poses, why certain poses are good during certain parts of our cycle (daily, monthly, and life long cycles). It covers the importants of breathing technique and how yoga can become a strong component of daily meditation. No fluff here.

Back then, believe it or not, I actually got to the point where I was doing this pose in my daily routine each morning:

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I really like this book and am happy to say that since pulling it off the shelf I’ve started doing yoga daily again. And it feels good. I’m starting out with some very simple poses and just for 15 minutes a day.

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I would highly recommend this book for anyone starting out in yoga. It’s a good compliment to classes or a video for sure and it’s also just good on it’s own. At the very least go check it out from your local library.

+++++++++++++ Switching gears a bit ++++++++++++++++++

It’s strange the riggors of acidemia, I really feel like I’m trying to get my body and mind back to where I was when I first moved to dekalb. I was riding my bike everyday when I moved there (as soon as I got a bike that is), I was a pretty strict vegetarian (which doesn’t = health I know, but for me it really did), I was doing yoga, I was getting up in the morning to go paint outside, I was drawing everyday, I was reading all the time, knitting all the time, I was getting good at the cello. I want to get back to that place.

Sure time is a factor. And now I’m busier than ever, but these are the things that really make me happy. Like the deep down I’m content with my life happiness that comes from health and pleasure in the daily living of life. Sure getting published makes me feel super excited, having over 30,000 unique visitors to Craft Leftovers each month makes me feel cocky, but it’s the daily lifestyle choices that really make me feel good about myself. Strange isn’t it? I think that no matter how busy I get, I can afford the two hours a day to get back to that place.

I read this post over on the Simple Dollar called “What will you Learn this Year” and I would really like to apply this to the cello. Spending 30 minutes (at first) to 1 hour (in 3-6 months) and eventually 1 1/2 hours each day (6-12 months) practicing the cello. In theory I have naturally talent and “You are picking things up as quickly as my other beginning students and they practice and I know you don’t, if you would just practice even 3 times a week you would progress so quickly”. Well, let’s give it a running shot and see what happens in the next year. (I would do a two hour “crap I need to learn these scales” practice session the morning before my lesson, so bad!).

I did have a drawing to post today, but the pictures turned out blurry and I’ll have to retake them. Their just some fun little drawing/paintings of random little characters. I’ll post them later today.

I’ll see you then and hopefully more throughout the week. I’m planning to try some new recipes and I wanted to post the results of that as well as some more drawings.

Have a good Sunday afternoon!
Kristin

I have been wanting to get back into the cello for quite some time. I have moved with it twice now and waited 3 years to start up lessons again. I finally have socked enough money away to get a few months worth of lessons and my cello a tune up.

We just happen to have a great violin shop here in town – Hoshaw Violins – and the owner – Randy Hoshaw – recommended a great instructor to me. I called her up today and we are planning on meeting towards the end of the month.

I was feeling bold when I talked to her and it was a good thing too, she’s a bit out of my budget because she’s really good… so I asked her if she would be willing to barter for some lessons. That I could afford two a month and could we trade for the other two? She said yes! She was really interested in all my handmade things and just happens to be a knitter – so hand dyed yarns and knitting lessons will be part of the trade!

I found some great sites to help me get practiced up today. There is this site called 8notes that has some beginning music theory and general lessons for cello as well as other instruments. And they have lots of free sheet music!

Then on YouTube.com I found this series of instructional videos on beginning to play the cello. It’s already starting to come back to me.

Oh and I found this “tuner” online and got my cello somewhat sort of kind of tuned. At least to the point where it doesn’t completely offend my ears!

My past instructors both told me that I had a lot of potential and picked it up naturally and if only I would practice every day instead of once a week I would progress really quickly. Well, I’m ready! I’m ready to dedicate an hour a day to cello and really give it a shot. I figure I’ll take it three months at a time and see if I’m sticking to it and if it’s worth the investment of both time and money.

So why the cello? I suppose why any instrument. I had always played an instrument, but they always felt awkward. I was never bad, but it just didn’t feel right to me. I had always wanted to play stand up bass or cello, but felt that my hands were too small. I was wrong of course, but this notion had been supported throughout my life. Then I saw Azure Ray. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard and it was being played with – for all general purposes – indie music and not classical. It just kind of clicked with me. I looked up all I could on the cello. Rented to Own one, took lessons and away I went. The first time I sat down with my cello I was in love. It just fit. Even playing badly felt better than playing any other instrument had.

When I went away to northern I just did not have the time or money to continue lessons and my cello was horribly out of tune. I pretty much stopped playing, but always swore that after I graduated I would find a way to start it up again. And I did and I am! I’m dropping it off at the violin shop tomorrow and will be starting lessons in about three weeks! I’m so excited!

My goals for cello playing?
In ten years be able to play Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 Prelude.
In one year have my first public performance – A short series of pieces at a coffee shop or maybe at Stam even.
Next summer play in the park on Mainstreet for tips.

After playing around today and really actually practicing for the first time in 3 years, I’m surprised and delighted to see how much my hands are quickly remembering and how easily I’m picking up sight reading again. I need a lot of work, I need a lot of remembering and reminding, but I think I will progress quickly now that I am dedicated to and resolved to practice every day. It’s going to be hard. I’m not always going to want to or be as excited about practicing as I am right now. But I will. And I will improve.

And that is that for today. I was going to draw and post it today, but I ended up practicing the cello instead :) I think that was a pretty fair trade off.

Oh and a side note update. I made vegetarian tacos tonight and they were a huge hit. I got the two thumbs up on them so we will be having those again for sure. I love tacos!

Have a good night and I’ll see you soon!
Kristin

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It’s been a long time since my last post and I’m sorry for the absence. I was hoping to get at least one post up a week and it just hasn’t been possible this last month. They have me working about 40 hours a week at the chocolate shop and things are in full swing on Craft Leftovers and in the shops. Which is great and I’m having fun and I really enjoy it all. But I’m also looking forward to less hours at the chocolate shop now.

I have quite a few fun announcements to make. Firstly, since I won’t be working as much at the chocolate shop now, I’ll be able to start posting again here about the fun things going on in the studio and ames in general. And with that, I have two plans for posts here. I’m going to start up my “drawing a day” posting again (I miss it), but having it be “Drawing Days” instead and post drawings twice a week.  The second plan is that I’m going to start posting what I cook more often (like I was during the summer) to help keep me in line with a healthier way of cooking and eating. Once I get back to Ames I have a fun post in mind that I need to take the pictures for.

The other fun thing I will be posting more about is the Ames Sewing Rebellion! I’m going to start hosting the Iowa Sewing Rebellion here in Ames. Hooray! Stop Shopping, Start Sewing! You can read more about the sewing rebellion here and here and here and here. I’ve posted about participating in it from time to time in Chicago on Overextracted – but I was bad at using tags, so it’s been hard for me to track down posts about it.  I’m starting a blog for it, but it’s not ready to go live yet. There will be info about the first meeting and pictures and the like. Our first meeting will be Sunday, January 11th from noon to 4pm. It will be a brunchluck (a breakfast/lunch potluck) and much sewing will ensue us all. It will be at the Ames Progressive which has been kind enough to not just donate the space, but help hang fliers, spread the word, and participate! Fantastic!

I’ll be posting again on Sunday night or Monday morning and will hopefully have a link to the Ames Sewing Rebellion then.

Best wishes and Merry Christmas!
Kristin

I made Molly a cat hoodie quite some time ago. It’s been run through pattern testing and it will be up on Craft Leftovers tomorrow.

It just happened so well that when I woke up this morning snow was covering the ground. Perfect! Jason and I slipped the hoodie on and took her outside. She was actually really curious about all the snow. I suppose it’s been a year since the last time she saw it.

Hi there! It has been forever since I posted. As you can imagine, things have been super crazy here in the middle of Iowa. It has been really fun though (except that I’m sick with this cold thing, no good, but other than that, awesome!). 

I’m really happy to announce that after too long of a time, I have completely moved Kro Postal to etsy and I added everything back into the shop that I had over at Big Cartel. I’m taking pictures tomorrow so I should have never before seen items in the shop this week! A big “Hooray, Post!” all around!

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And on top of that, I added the Holiday Issue of the Craft Leftovers Monthly zine to Kro Postal. It’s the perfect thing to send to a crafty buddy in a far away place!

And in other good news fashion, a independent book shop in Colorado is going to start carrying the Craft Leftovers Monthly zine!

Oh and tonight I’m working on dressing my loom. I have it counted out above the castle and need to get some rope to lash it to the bar. The last time I used the loom, my rope snapped. I don’t want that to happen again. I’m working on some fabric to put into Green Prairie Fibers. I think it would be nice to sell some handwoven fabric that I have made.  

I actually just dyed some yarn last Tuesday and it’s dry and I’ve reskiened it, so I’ll be taking pictures of it tomorrow along with the stationary and adding it throughout next week. Many good things going on.

I’m going to try to start posting more often, mini posts, but posts non the less. 

See you soon!
Kristin

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The wool on the left is what I have picked through, the wool on the left is straight off the sheep. It looks cleaner than it is i this picture. There is actually a lot of dirt and grease and mossy stuff and I love it.

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After carding I practiced spinning with a bottom whorl drop spindle. Different from my top whorl that I’m used to, but it’s always fun to learn a new tool.

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Lots of the wool after being picked through and carded, they are like little clouds waiting to be made into yarn, which is then waiting to be made into a hat.

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I’m mostly done picking, but I have about a bag more of wool to card by Wednesday You see, I’m taking a spinning class at the Rose Tree Fiber shop and we are starting on the wheel this week! So I have to have all my fiber prepped.

In other news I bought a drafting table today. I was going to just go for a cutting table or something at joann’s or hobby lobby and they were all so shaking and badly made and expensive. I found one online on ebay that is super nice, angles, has a drawer, pencil holders, and was within my budget. I should have it in my hot little hands in 3-7 business days.

While at Hobby Lobby and Joann’s this morning though I became very disheartened at the selection of drafting tables and the crabby sales people and the obnoxious music that I almost used my 40% off coupon to buy and knitting machine.

You see I’ve had this project in the works since the summer and it involves knitting. A lot of knitting. So much knitting that a knitting machine is required. And I’ve been working on it lately and editing audio for it and so when I saw “THE ULTIMATE KNITTING MACHINE” sitting there I almost gave in. But now. That can wait. For now. At least until after this spinning class is over. Haha. I did however spend a huge chunk of time watching YouTube videos on it and reading about it and then I turned it into a big ol’ post over on Craft Leftovers. It’s all set to go and will publish itself in the morning. So make sure to check it out.

In other news, I’m going to start an Iowa chapter of the Sewing Rebellion here in Ames or possibly Des Moines. I’m looking for spaces to do it in, possibly empty retail spaces, or independently run spaces, but I’ve got the okay from Frau Fiber herself to start things up here after the new year and hope to start hammering out the details. Lot’s of free workshops, patterns, and sewing troubleshooting will be going on. It will be fun. I think that, instead of presenting myself as Frau Fiber, I’m going to create my own persona, something french, Madame something. Frau Fibers cousine française. Any ideas?

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On the weaving front: I’ve cleaned out my reed as much as possible and am hoping that after finishing picking through raw wool tonight I will have some time to start dressing the loom. And because I want that time badly, I’m going to end this here and get going again on that wool.

Have a good night!
Kristin

ps – do any of you know of any artist run spaces in the midwest that are open to newbie artists who just have their bfa? (aka don’t have a bias against  people with just bfa’s no mfa required to apply) Just asking.

Since graduation I have been avoiding finding out the truth about my student loans. Sure I knew they would be due in November. Sure I knew they would be about 40k. But what companies owned what loans. Who I would be paying what amount to. It was a mystery. Not a good one either. And not with a scary ending as it turns out.

I truly felt like a detective looking for clues this afternoon and putting together the puzzle of student loan debt repayment.

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After about an hour of digging through my records for all the “you owe us money” letters and getting them organized on a spreadsheet saying X loan is from YZ company and my account number A, and the contact info is B and the interest is C and the total principle is D and the repayment starts on F in the amount of E.

So then I went down the line and called every single loan company and verified all the info I had + got some more + asked questions + updated my billing address. I even did my stafford loan exit exam thing.

And in the end I knew exactly how much was due on what date. It felt brilliant. And you know what else I figured out. I’m closer to being able to pay for my student loans and my other bills and have some for savings than I thought. I’m really close. And I think if I just stay on track and keep submitting pattern ideas and teaching classes and selling kits and yarn and clm and handmade things and hopefully soon enough paintings and woven tapestries… I will be able to quit my part time job in no time. And that really made me feel good.

In other news, I totally got lost going to the fiber arts guild meeting tonight. I drove around and wandered through churches looking for it for a half hour and then, at the “20 minutes late” point gave up and went to Joann’s. I needed to get some duck cloth for the laundry bags anyway. I scored a sweet reg tag clearance deal of $4/yard instead of &7.99 which is normally is at the 72″ width. Awesome! Really though as soon as I walked into the store I was thinking about little cross stitch kits. I have loved those since I was a kid and it’s been about that long since I did one. I needed instant gratification here. An ornament project was perfect. I can’t show them because they are both gifts, but I’ll show you the backs.

Craft Booty:
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Now what to use my 40% coupon on though? That’s when I spotted it — Kyuuto! Japanese Craft Amigurumi! I’ve been wanting this book for a long time and now, for just $9.47 how could I resist? Oh and I picked up some cross stitch plastic canvas because, you guessed it, I totally want to write some cross stitch patterns for it and make my own little ornament kits for Christmas! Yeah!

And with that, I’m going to work on my cross stitch.

See you later!
Kristin

I’m back to listing things on ebay. I had a whole ton of things ready to go and then just didn’t get it listed. I mean, I even had the pictures taken and edited. Lame.

And another thing I was thinking about was changing my ebay account so it would be “craftleftovers” and I said as much to Jason and he was like “you know you can just change your username right?” Genius! So I did. So now you can see all my listings here under the seller name: CraftLeftovers (no spaces).

Here is what I listed tonight:
knittingbag upholstryfabric02 upholsteryfabric01

I have a lot more to go though. A lot more fabric. A recipe box. Some vintage spice containers. A thing of vintage yarn. Oh and the thing is, all this stuff. I really just want to get it out of the apartment, so it’s just the cost of shipping + 99 cents. I didn’t put a reserve on it or anything.

Woo woo! Two posts in one day! Is this a sign of more posting to come? I think so!

See you soon!
Kristin




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Originally uploaded by Kristin Roach

So, it’s pretty strange, I am allergic to leather. I’m pretty okay wearing a coat I’ve had since high school, but with shoes, I just can’t risk it. I think it was about a year or two ago that I first realized that when I wore leather shoes, my feet would start to itch, then my toes would get all dried out, then they would swell, turn purple, and then the skin would peel off! Gross! It would take like a week or so to get through all of it after the one time of wearing the leather shoes. Nasty.

So I wore Keds for a long time. Which I love. But they aren’t so great for riding my bike or for standing at work all day or walking. I looked around and found that Simple Shoes makes a hemp shoe that is super cute and there just happened to be a shop here in town that carries them, even better. I went down there and they man working was just great. He had me try on about 4 pairs of shoes. Measured my feet, twice. And then ordered them for me. They came in on Saturday and I’ve been wearing them ever sense.

Oh and check out those awesome socks, hehe.

Have a good night!
Kristin

Upcoming Events:

  • Green Prairie Fibers Shop Update 09/29/08
  • Craft Leftovers Shop Update 09/23/08

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